You may know Nick Cave as the gravelly-voiced, mustachioed lead singer of The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds and Grinderman or as the bowler hat–wearing barroom balladeer in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. You may not even know him at all. But that would be a shame because this Australian artist is true modern-day Renaissance man, and his genre-bending legacy is that of a highly creative and somewhat obsessive lyricist.
One hallmark of Cave’s writing style is a diverse vocabulary. A Nick Cave song never suffers for a lack of vividness and we’ve found the secret to his success: He keeps a handwritten dictionary of all his favourite words. Featured as part of a 2009 Nick Cave exhibit at the Western Australian Museum and the Arts Centre in Melbourne, these three pages showcase Cave’s interest in the written word and offer a glimpse into the mind behind critically acclaimed albums, novels and screenplays such as Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! and The Proposition.